Category: Drama

Suspect X 嫌疑犯X的獻身

Japan 2008
Director : Hiroshi Nishitani
Masaharu Fukuyama ... Manabu Yukawa
Kou Shibasaki ... Kaoru Utsumi
Kazuki Kitamura ... Shumpei Kusanagi
Yasuko Matsuyuki ... Yasuko Hanaoka
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ... Tetsuya Ishigami

A murder case that becomes a mind game between two genuises, one tries to cover up for the real murderer and the other tries to find the truth. The two genuises are actually classmates 17 years ago and respect each other. Will the truth ever be revealed? Why does a top genius go to such length to protect a murderer?

This is not a story of suspense because the truth was already laid out in front of the audience, this is a story of human relationship that will drive people to do the extreme to protect each other. An entertaining and interesting story that also has a twist.

Ensemble, C'est Tout (Hunting and gathering)

Drama, French, 2007
Director: Claude Berri
Actors and Actresses
Audrey Tautou ... Camille Fauque
Guillaume Canet ... Franck
Laurent Stocker ... Philibert Marquet de la Tubeli?re
Fran?oise Bertin ... Paulette

A simple movie about ordinary people like you and me. People quarrel, people die, people fall in love, people work. 3 such people live together under the same roof. I like French movies because they describe simple life, not so dramatic but they reflect quietly.

Rabbit Proof Fence

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RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (buy from Amazon)
by Doris Pilkington
Drama, Australia, 2002
Director: Phillip Noyce
Everlyn Sampi ... Molly Craig
Tianna Sansbury ... Daisy Kadibill
Laura Monaghan ... Gracie Fields
David Gulpilil ... Moodoo

Based on a true story, this film tells the historical event of the white Australia government in the early decades of the 20th century kidnapped aboriginal children, took them thousands of miles away from their parents and forced them to speak English and trained them to be domestic servant

It was not until 2008, the Australian government formally apologized for their terrible act against humanity. I would recommend everyone to watch this movie and let this horror will never be repeated


Director: Masayuki Suzuki
Drama, Japan, 2007
Cast: Takuya Kimura, Takako Matsu, Hiroshi Abe, Haruka Ayase, Takuzo Kadono, Teruyuki Kagawa, Masanobu Katsumura, Ittoku Kishibe, Kiyoshi Kodama

This is a popular Japanese TV drama turned movie.
Takuya Kimura played an unconventional prosecutor with strong determination to seek nothing but the truth, and he will get to the bottom of it no matter how hard it is. He has no fear for whoever he is up against, be it big politicians or high-power lawyer. As a result he has an unusually strong inspiring effect on people that he works with and even the criminal that he is prosecuting. People around him will find the extra energy to achieve the goal of seeking the truth. Even the opposing lawyer respects him greatly.

In this movie, he takes over from his colleague, a reckless murder case of what started as a harmless incident of two strangers running into each other. The case become complicated when the defendant is also the sole witness of an alibi of a high-power politician on a corruption charge. Suddenly Kimura finds himself up against the best defending lawyer in town on this murder case. He also has a very bad history with this politician. If Kimura doesn't win his case, it will mean the politician will get away on the corruption case.

My review:
I enjoyed watching this film very much as I have also watched the TV-series before. The determination of the prosecution team to convict the bad guy and give him the punishment that he deserves is quite touching. Splendid performance by Takuya Kimura.

The Professor and His Beloved Equation

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The Professor and His Beloved Equation (buy from Amazon)

Drama, Japan, 2006
Akira Terao ... Professor
Eri Fukatsu ... Kyoko
Takanari Saito ... Root - young
Hidetaka Yoshioka ... Root
Ruriko Asaoka ... Professor's sister-in-law

This movie is about mathematics, I quite like this nice movie about a mathematics professor who had an accident and he cannot remember anything longer than 80 minutes. His way of communicating with people is always related to mathematics. The story starts when the professor is having a new maid helping his house work. The new maid has a 10-year old son, and the professor called the boy "Square root" because it is a nice "operator" that is genorous and kind to all numbers. The three of them spend a lot of time together even though the professor will always repeat himself because he cannot remember new things. The kid learned a lot from the professor and when he grows up and become a mathematics teacher himself, he tells his student about the story of the professor and how he learned about perfect numbers (like 6, 28), prime numbers (like 2,3, 5, 7), natural number (e), imaginery number (i) and pi etc. What I really like is the friendly couple numbers (220 and 284), these are called amicable numbers, such a nice story.

I would recommend this nice little story to anyone who was once or still is smitten by mathematics. I certainly enjoyed this movie.

Love and Honour - Bushi no ichibun

Drama, Japanese 2006
Director: Y?ji YamadaDirector: Nobuhiro Doi

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Takuya Kimura ... Shinnojo Mimura
Rei Dan ... Kayo Mimura
Mitsugoro Bando ... Toya Shimada

Shinnojo Mimura is a low ranking samurai whose job is to taste/test the food prepared for the Lord for poison. During one tasting, the ill-prepared seafood become poisonous and as a result, Mimura becomes blind. Life becomes very hard for the blind samurai and his wife Kayo was cheated by the chief of staff who pretends that he would help Mimura to secure his stipend despite his blindness. When Mimura found out about this, he decided he should defend his own name by challenging the chief of staff who is a well trained swordsman.

My review:
This is the last of the samurai trilogy by the great director Yoji Yamada, the other two films being The Hidden Blade and the Twilight Samurai. Yamada likes to portray samurai as a down to earth person who has many real things to worry about in life and the fact that they have a family and problems of their own just like everyone else. This is very different from most other films where the samurai somehow has unlimited money, meals are always cooked for, ends are always met and so they do extraordinary things.

Though all 3 samurai movies are well made (just as you would expect from Yamada), it is getting a bit plain watching the same ideas again. Nonetheless, this is still a good movie to watch and especially, we don't get to see Takuya Kimura acting in an ancient setting.

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The Hidden Blade (buy from Amazon)

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The Twilight Samurai (buy from Amazon)

Nada Sou Sou - Tears for You

Type, Country, Year: Romance, Drama, Japan, 2006

Director: Nobuhiro Doi

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Yotaro Shingaki
Masami Nagasawa ... Kaoru Shingaki
Kumiko Aso ... Keiko Inamine

In Okinawa, when Yotaro was a little boy, he promised his dying mother to take care of his young step-sister Kaoru, Karou's father was a singer in a band, he married Yotaro's mother and soon left them and Kaoru behind.

Life was tough for Yotaro and Kaoru after Yotaro's mother died. Kaoru went to live with Yotaro's grandma in another city. A few years later, Yotaro has become a young man who wanted to open his small restaurant and Kaoru is moving back to live with Yotaro and continues her secondary education. Unfortunately, Yotaro has been cheated by someone, he lost all his saving and is deep in debt, which completely shattered his dream of opening his restaurant. Karou stands by her brother and try to give him all her support.

Brother and sister only in name but with no blood tie and living under the same roof, their love and emotion for each other is also the strongest force pulling them apart, sacrificing oneself to help the other is too much to bear for the other party. Soon, Karou is going to University and decides to move out to live on her own, how would things evolve between them?

My review:
I can't really say I like the ending much, but the plot from the beginning up till the ending is pretty good. Satoshi and Masami play their roles very well. It is a pretty touching stories. "Tears for you" broke box office record in Japan in 2006.

Touch - Cartoon 1984-1985


Type: Cartoon Drama, Japan 1984-1985

My rating: 5
Key characters:
Minami Asakura, Tatsuya Uesugi, Kazuya Uesugi

Based on the comic book by Mitsuru Adachi. Kazuya (younger) and Tatsuya (elder) are twin brothers, Minami is the girl next door, the three of them were born in the same year and grew up together. Both brothers love Minami. She has a wish which becomes the common goal of the twin brothers that is to go to Koshien Stadium to play baseball. To do so, they must represent their high school and win the regional competition. Tatsuya doesn't want to compete with his brother and thus he quits baseball, Kazuya is a great talented baseball player and has led the school team to the regional final, soon Minami's dream will be realised by Kazuya but she is clear on who she loves - she loves Tatsuya the kind-hearted elder brother who supposed to be inferior to the younger twin only because he always let the younger brother to win. Kazuya is also a kind-hearted younger brother who always wishes the best thing for his brother and Minami. On the day of the final game, something happened and Kazuya did not turn up... Tatsuya has to step up and work hard to make minami's dream come true...

My review:
Touch is one of my all time favourite cartoon. I have always loved this comic by Mitsuru Adachi, this TV cartoon has become a classic. Kazuya and Tatsuya are good and loving brothers, Minami is the kind of girl every boy dreams about. Mitsuru has created many touching and clever plots in the story with many other interesting characters surrounding Kazuya, Tatsuya and Minami, including Harada, a friend who always say something wise despite his big, rough and scary look, Nitta the star player of the rival baseball team.

Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro)

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Howl's Moving Castle (buy from Amazon)

Type, Country, Year: Cartoon drama, Japan, 2004

Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Rick Dempsey (English version)

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:

A young lady was cursed by a witch and was turned into an old woman. Her hope of breaking the spell rests on a young wizard called Howl (Hauru) who lives in a home in the format of a moving castle. Together they fought the bad guys and developed an deep relationship that would save them both

My review:
Very interesting cartoon movie and very creative. You wouldn't expect anything less from the cartoon master Hayao Miyazaki!


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Nana (Single Disc Edition) (buy from Amazon)

Type, Country, Year: Drama, Japan, 2005

Director: Kentar? ?tani

My rating: 3

Key actors/actresses:
Mika Nakashima ... Nana Osaki
Aoi Miyazaki ... Nana Komatsu
Hiroki Narimiya ... Nobuo Terashima
Ken'ichi Matsuyama ... Shin
Saeko ... Sachiko

Two girls both called Nana met by chance on a train and become good friends even though they have such different personalities. Incidentally they also end up renting a flat together. One of them is a rock singer who is deeply troubled with her relationship with her ex-boyfriend who is also a rock artist, he left her band to join another and pursue something bigger and indeed became very famous. The other Nana dreams of marrying her boyfriend and would do anything for him, only to find that they are too young and not ready for marriage, especially when she discovers that he has a new girlfriend.

The two girls have a lot to learn from each other...

My review:
Not supposed to be an exciting firm but nice in its own way to tell two stories of young girls in their early 20s who pursue very different lives and face with different problems and issues with people around them.

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